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Tour of Blue Mound

 4.0 (6)
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Map Key

10.5 Miles 17.0 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

1,568' 478 m

Ascent

-1,556' -474 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

1,721' 525 m

High

1,238' 377 m

Low

Shared By Gary Schweisthal

Conditions


All Clear 94 days ago
Snowy History

Getting forecast...

Not for the faint of heart or body, this loop will challenge even the more experienced riders.

Gary Schweisthal

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

Currently the longest loop of singletrack in Blue Mound State Park, this ride will test your skills and endurance. Combining the fast and flowy Over Lode with the more technically challenging Mound Loop (long), this route may very well have you thinking about taking a dip in the pool or busting open the cooler that's in the trunk of your car well before you arrive back at the parking lot.

Description

The Over Lode portion is fast, flowy, and less technical but also has some steep climbs that can wear you out for the Mound Loop (long) that follows.

Starting out on Gneiss & Smooth, you get a nice warmup for Over Lode. Take a right at the first gravel crossing, cross the road on the ski trail, then a left at the fork. You'll fly down the ski hill a little ways until you see another turn to the left. Slow down, stay right, and Over Lode begins on the left.

Over Lode contains several ravine crossings, and not surprisingly, an equal number of challenging, steep, but relatively short climbs. There is also quite a bit of sustained descent that follows the contours of the terrain and allows you to go as fast as your wits will let you. After a few rides you get a sense where you can really open the throttle, or rather, let off the brakes.

After two road crossings you join back up with Gneiss & Smooth by hanging a right. Continue onward into Chert Dip, Serpentine Climb, and if you've had enough, Basalty Bail will bring you back to the trailhead. Otherwise you can continue onto Holy Schist which will put you onto the Mound Loop (long).

This ride is basically identical to Over Lode Loop (short), but tacks on another 4 miles of difficult trail, includes the infamous Holy Schist, and slow but steady climb and quick descent on Home Stretch. The Mound Loop (long) is difficult enough, but riding Over Lode first can be energy-depleting and make things more interesting by the time you reach the halfway point.

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Jul 18, 2018
Michael Pater
Nov 13, 2016
Bill Zahalka
9.3mi
Jun 21, 2008
Lost Justpastnowhere

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes

#1900

Overall
  4.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
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Rankings

#27

in Wisconsin

#1,900

Overall
22 Views Last Month
1,975 Since Oct 21, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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Ben Aylsworth
Toronto, ON
Ben Aylsworth   Toronto, ON
OK I didn't LOVE this loop. The first 3rd is frustrating. You climb up then rip down- over and over. Which should be a recipe for grins. However, the climbs are just long slogs which make it seem like hard tail XC racers might have built this section. To further that suspicion the downs are boring runs with no fun options. I did not love that. However, from the early bail out on it got progressively better and Holy Schist was so nice I had to do it twice. And you can see that some new school berms are going in on Holy Schist. Which must make the hard tail XC racers furious ;) Aug 13, 2014

 
Thanks for the review and the reminder that you really can't please everyone. I'm going to disagree with you that the climbs are slogs, they might be steep but "long" would be a stretch even for the Midwest. As for the downs being boring... not sure I would agree with you there either, but of course there's room for improvement. You have no idea the limited resources that built (and continue to build) this trail. I'm glad you enjoyed Holy Schist, it's my favorite as well. FWIW the entire trail system was developed by full suss riders for the most part, Over Lode (the "first 3rd") was mostly machine built, so that's also why it's so much faster and open. I know a lot of people that prefer Over Lode and skip Holy Schist. Aug 13, 2014
Great trail, but very challenging. I like Over Lode better - it's challenging, but smoother and you can carry some speed on the downhills. The climbs are tough due to the steepness, but they're doable and not terribly long. Holy Schist is really tough - tons of rocks and roots throughout. Even the most advanced riders will probably have to walk some of the sections. I like the natural feel of the trail, and there is great scenery in the state park. Be sure to keep your tires inflated and bring a spare - this trail is known to take hostages. I got frustrated with how much I was dabbing and walking sections, but I still enjoy the trail and will be going back. Sep 27, 2015

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